A Hockey & Burlesque Fundraiser 

 

I created Puck & Grind as a celebration of bravery.

As a hockey player, there’s a moment of anxiety before I step onto the ice.  Will I perform at my best? Will I do my team proud? Will I make an ass out of myself? As a burlesque performer, I feel the same thing right before I step onto the stage. The important thing, though, is that I don't let it stop me. Once I've made my way into the blue paint or into the spotlight, all that matters is that moment of triumph.

I believe everyone should be able to experience that moment.  

Because of that belief, I'm turning the two things I love into a fundraiser for You Can Play, a national project trying to make the world of sports a safer and more inclusive environment for the LGBT community. My goal is to facilitate more of those special, celebratory moments for gay athletes and their straight allies, and spread You Can Play’s message of acceptance and respect.

For me, burlesque is all about inclusiveness, empowerment, and creativity. You stand on a stage and take complete control of your performance, your body and the story you want to tell. It takes bravery (and maybe a little grit) to do that--just as much bravery as it takes to stand in the crease during OT in the playoffs. It takes courage to be who you are, doing what you love to do, in a locker room environment that may not be welcoming. I’ve made a commitment to lend my support to You Can Play, in their mission to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing, not on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, but on an athlete’s talent, desire and spirit.

That very spirit is why I love hockey and burlesque so much. I hope Puck & Grind helps create awareness, spreads the idea of inclusiveness, and unites two communities of strong, badass people towards a common goal.

Let’s raise the cup together,

-Ali Lawrence

Puck & Grind Commissioner/Producer